14 February 2019

10 tips to collect customer mobile numbers

Business messaging is a great way to contact customers as it’s proven to be eight times more effective than email. The challenge: you need the customer’s mobile phone number to get started.

Are you wondering how you can collect relevant mobile numbers for SMS marketing your business to potential customers and prospects? A long list of numbers is worse than useless if it doesn’t contain your target audience.

The first step is to understand your customer: their needs, interests, challenges, and wishes. Determine your typical customer as best as possible, considering demographics, firmographics (if relevant) and behavioural characteristics.

Once you have determined your most likely customers, try these methods to add valuable numbers to your marketing list. Don’t forget that customers must actively provide their mobile numbers to you instead of simply collecting them from a range of sources.

How to collect customer mobile numbers

1. Competitions with great prizes

Offer an irresistible prize that encourages customers to provide their details for a chance to win, for example, ‘SMS xxxxx for your chance to win.’

2. Request details at the checkout

If you are a retailer or eCommerce business, existing customers are a great potential source of new business, as they already shop at your business. Ask customers for their mobile number at the checkout with an offer to keep them updated of special offers or latest news.

For service-type businesses, such as restaurants, hair or beauty salons, and health spas, a feedback form or customer experience survey can be particularly useful to collect contact details as well as useful insights

3. Utilise social media

Social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram can be a great way to connect with interested people or businesses. Use these channels to encourage followers to sign up to your contact list.

4Give freebies …

Everyone loves a freebie. Offer a free eBook containing valuable industry insights behind a gated form that requires customers to sign up to receive the content. Those who download eBooks are traditionally early in the purchasing journey but have clearly indicated an interest in your products or services. You can then deliver the eBook via SMS and short URLs.

Offer a free trial of your services, particularly if you operate in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. Ask businesses to text ‘Send an SMS to xxxxxx if you are interested in a free trial of our services’.

If you send a regular newsletter, be sure to include special offers that encourage readers to become potential purchasers or channel partners.

5. … Or discounts!

The promise of discounts can also entice customers to provide their mobile numbers.

6. VIP memberships

Offer VIP membership to customers who, for example, text ‘VIP’ to your business. Make sure you offer your VIPs a tangible benefit, such as advance notice of sales and promotions, mobile coupons, invites to an exclusive webinar, or one-day only offers that clearly demonstrate the value of membership. Ensure your customers feel they have exclusive access to perks that are unavailable to other customers.

7. Partner up

Is there a complementary organisation you can partner with? Perhaps you can offer complementary products or services that effectively double your marketing efforts and exposes you to more potential customers.

8. Events

Events and conferences can be a terrific opportunity to collect details from an audience that is already interested in what your business can offer. Events can be expensive, so choose carefully, but also look out for smaller events where you can offer sponsorship. Utilise some of the techniques above – competitions, eBooks, freebies or discounts – to encourage event visitors to part with their details in exchange for something of value. Following the event, send an SMS with a different offer, or ask for feedback on the discount or freebie they received at the event.

9. Add your number to any advertising

Ensure your dedicated number is highly visible on all advertising, whether it’s radio, TV, events or conferences, billboards or the side of your vehicle!

Encourage customers to get in touch with memorable keywords, for example, ‘Text THIRSTY to (dedicated number) for a free drink in-store!’

10. Website query capture

Ensure your online form requests a ‘mobile number’ as opposed to simply requesting a ‘contact number’. Therefore you will capture the mobile numbers required for continued engagement, instead of office reception numbers on landlines!

One of the significant benefits of an online form is tailoring the form to cater for customers’ preferences. Offer a checklist of products or services to find out exactly what your customer wants to know more about and tailor your SMS messages accordingly.

But remember!

In return for your customers’ personal details, you need to meet your responsibilities to avoid losing a customer forever when they unsubscribe.

You must always:

  • Include options for customers to opt out
  • Guarantee privacy of your customers’ details
  • Promise you won’t spam your customers – and don’t!
  • Provide value with your SMS offers

Now you have a great database of prospects and contacts, find out more about maximising your marketing campaigns here!


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